Monday Morning Shows Struggle With Turmoil Over ‘Defiant’ Biden

During their Monday morning newscasts, the White House reporters on ABC, CBS, and NBC struggled with the internal Democrat debate over Biden. All three networks described President Biden as “defiant” but touted him for campaigning and traveling to other states.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, Mary Bruce professed that Biden is “adamant he can survive this crisis” referring to his disastrous debate performance a couple weeks ago. She then played a clip of Biden claiming the Democratic party is behind him, but Bruce expressed that there are “a growing number of people in his own party” who are “not so certain.”

Some of the Democrats who have recently turned their back on Biden publicly are “Congressman Jerry Nadler, Mark Takano, Joe Morelle, and Adam Smith.” Bruce also reported that “at least four top House democrats told colleagues on a call Sunday it’s time for Biden to end his campaign.”

But according to Bruce, the president is “trying to restore confidence, hitting the trail hard this weekend, eager to show voters he has what it takes to beat Donald Trump.” Bruce also wanted to make sure she mentioned that Biden has been “shaking hands and snapping selfies” with supporters at rallies.

On CBS Mornings, Nancy Cordes observed that Biden is “facing headwinds within his own party.” She emphasized that Biden found support in Pennsylvania on Sunday “in the form of the Governor, the Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania’s two senators.”

In regards to Biden’s campaign, Cordes claimed that “at the center of his campaign is the argument that Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy.” Cordes somehow did not mention the overwhelming concerns about Biden’s age or mental state throughout the whole segment. Unless you count a Philadelphia Democrat who said “Biden seems completely incompetent. Seems like he can’t hold a thought in his head. And Trump’s a liar.”

Cordes finished by saying that “Biden’s team insists voters are still on his side” as he makes plans to visit Michigan, Nevada, and Texas. But because “Biden served in the senate for decades” Cordes noted that “the White House likes to point out that so far there are no senate Democrats calling him to leave the race.”

On NBC’s Today, Gabe Gutierrez started by describing Biden as “the man who once embodied the Democratic establishment” but “now finds himself fighting it.” He also noted that the Biden campaign has been “ramping up his travel to convince his critics and voters that he can still do the job.”

Gutierrez shared a clip of Biden “joking about his age” during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania where he said “Folks, I know with every fiber of my being, I know I won’t look like I’m 40 years old, but I’ve been around a little bit.”

NBC ran Biden’s answer to an ABC question about how he would feel if Trump wins: “I feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do.” Gutierrez concluded that Biden will face several “critical tests this week such as meeting with leaders at the NATO summit, holding a “rare solo press conference,” and traveling to Michigan.

Hallie Jackson also weighed in on NBC and gave a quick plug for the Biden campaign: “He is all in right now. As he says he’s in it to win it. And even this morning his campaign is out with a new ad focusing not on his debate performance but on the issue of abortion access, an issue that they think he’s strong in based on where the polling is. So, they’re full steam ahead.”

ABC’s Good Morning America

7/8/2024

7:06:10 AM EST

Run Time: 5 minutes 36 seconds

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We turn now to the race for the White House and President Biden struggling to save his candidacy over the weekend, as senior democratic lawmakers start calling for the President to step aside. Chief White House correspondent Mary Bruce has the story. Good morning, Mary.

MARY BRUCE: Good morning, George. Well the Biden campaign had hoped that the President’s big interview with you would quiet concerns from the party, but this morning, the number of Democrats calling for the president to exit this race is growing. Even some of his allies are making it clear there are still questions he needs to answer this week, warning the clock is ticking. This morning, President Biden defiant as ever, adamant he can survive this crisis.

REPORTER: Is the party behind you, sir?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yes.

BRUCE: But a growing number in his own party aren’t so certain. Sources tell ABC News that, privately, at least four top house democrats told colleagues on a call Sunday it’s time for Biden to end his campaign. Congressman Jerry Nadler, Mark Tacano, Joe Morelle, and Adam Smith joining five other Democrats who have made the same plea publicly, but sources say Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who convened Sunday’s call, did not take a stance. With lawmakers back on the Hill this week, the coming days will be critical.

BIDEN: Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello.

BRUCE: The President trying to restore confidence, hitting the trail hard this weekend, eager to show voters he has what it takes to beat Donald Trump.

BIDEN: We are on the cusp of getting so much done. I really mean it.

BRUCE: Barnstorming battleground Pennsylvania, the President shaking hands and snapping selfies, rallying his supporters and leaning on allies to beat back concerns from fellow Democrats.

SENATOR JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): I’m about to point to the only person that’s ever kicked Trump’s [bleep] in an election right now!

MOUNT AIRY CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST BISHOP J. LOUIS FELTON: Don’t let anybody talk about your age. You are a young whippersnapper.

BRUCE: But even the President’s allies are blunt that his interview with George did not put concerns to rest.

REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): What I do think the President needs to decide is can he put those concerns aside, can he demonstrate to the American people that what happened on the debate stage was an aberration, that he can and will beat Donald Trump.

BRUCE: In his first sit down after that disastrous debate performance, the President saying that so far Democratic leaders have urged him to stay in the race.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries, and Nancy Pelosi come down and say we are worried that if you stay in the race we’re gonna lose the house and the Senate, how will you respond?

BIDEN: I’d go into detail with them. I’ve speaken [sic] to all of them in detail, including Jim Clyburn. Every one of them. They all said I should stay in the race. Stay in the race. No one said — None of the people said I should leave the race.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if they do?

BIDEN: Well it’s like – they’re not gonna do that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re sure?

BIDEN: Well yeah I’m sure. Look, I mean — if the Lord Almighty came out and said, Joe get out of the race, I’d get out of the race.

BRUCE: Biden insisting only divine intervention could force him out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you can be convinced that you cannot defeat Donald Trump, will you stand down?

BIDEN: [Laughs] It depends on if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that.

BRUCE: But at the center of his campaign is the argument that Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy. Biden pressed on what happens if he fails to stop him.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if you stay in and Trump is elected and everything you’re warning about comes to pass, how will you feel in January?

BIDEN: I will feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.

BRUCE: Now that answer upsetting some in the party who say this isn’t about whether the President gives it his all, but whether he is making the right decision to run and this week he will try to prove that he is up to the task. He will be standing on the world stage at the NATO here summit in Washington and then holding a rare solo press conference on Thursday. George?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay Mary, thanks. The focus now on Capitol Hill. Let’s talk to Senior Congressional correspondent Rachel Scott. Rachel, let’s start with that call yesterday. Hakeem Jeffries, this was the most senior Democrats in the House.

RACHEL SCOTT: The top Democrats on the House committees in the House and several of them were expressing concern about the President’s path forward. We have four of them, at least four, who outright just called on the president to step aside on this call. George, this is striking. We are just months away from the election. Democrats believe that they actually have a chance of winning the majority in the House and now they are focused on the President’s path forward. This was not a rallying call where you had Democratic leadership encouraging everyone to fall in line, get behind the President. This was a call where you had senior members of the Democratic party questioning whether President Biden can win in November.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Some ferment in the senate as well as Senator Mark Warner of Virginia had started organizing a letter among senate democrats but now his effort has been put off?

SCOTT: Yeah and so – what he was trying to do was sort of assemble this meeting to get Senate Democrats together to actually discuss President Biden’s path forward and whether or not they would make a call together to call on the president to step aside. We know that several Democratic senators really want to meet with President Biden face-to-face similar to what the governors did just last week. Well, it was leaked, we reported, as well as other outlets, and now Senator Warner started backing off of this effort. Still, though, George, I will say this, House Democrats, Senate Democrats will be meeting on Tuesday they will be getting an ear full from their members.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Four members matter than anyone else. Chuck Schumer –

SCOTT: Yep.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn.

SCOTT: Absolutely and all of them very measured so far. I was told on this call, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries didn’t outright or support President Biden. He allowed his members to express their concerns. All of them right now are in listening mode and they’re taking what they hear from their members and going right back to the administration and with the President.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Rachel Scott, thanks very much.

NBC’s Today

7/8/2024

7:07:17 AM EST

HODA KOTB: Meantime, President Biden spent the weekend on the campaign trail looking to ease concerns of voters and members of his own party about his age and ability, following his performance in the first presidential debate, but this morning, even more top Democrats in Congress are calling on him to step aside in the 2024 race. We’ve got two reports for you. We’re going to start off with NBC’s senior White House correspondent Gabe Gutierrez. Hey, Gabe, good morning.

GABE GUTIERREZ: Hey there, Hoda. Good morning. President Biden, the man who once embodied the Democratic establishment, now finds himself fighting it. This campaign is ramping up his travel to convince his critics and voters that he can still do the job, but with lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill today after the holiday, the drumbeat is growing louder. This morning, the pressure on President Biden intensifying as Democrats on Capitol Hill grow increasingly anxious about his campaign in the wake of that debate performance. At least four more House Democrats now say they believe the president should leave the race, bringing the total to at least nine.

[Cuts to video]

REPORTER: Is the Democratic Party behind you, sir?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Yes!

[Cuts back to report]

GUTIERREZ: The President defiant, campaigning in battleground Pennsylvania and joking about his age.

[Cuts to video]

BIDEN: Folks, I know with every fiber of my being, I know I won’t look like I’m 40 years old, but I’ve been around a little bit.

[Cuts back to report]

GUTIERREZ: The four lawmakers made the comments during a virtual meeting held by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, multiple people on the call tell NBC News. The Biden campaign points out that other lawmakers, including some from the Congressional Black Caucus, are forcefully defending the president.

[Cuts to video]

REP. AL GREEN (D-TX): I’m supporting him, and I do believe he is the best person for the job.

[Cuts back to report]

GUTIERREZ: The president in an ABC News interview Friday asked how he would feel if he stayed in the race and former President Trump won.

[Cuts to video]

BIDEN: I feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do.

[Cuts back to report]

GUTIERREZ: Democrats responding —

[Cuts to video]

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA) [on NBC’s Meet the Press, 07/07/24]: That is the answer that most concerned me as well. This is not just about whether he gave it the best college try but rather whether he made the right decision to run or to pass the torch.

[Cuts back to report]

GUTIERREZ: — while allies push for President Biden to answer voter questions.

[Cuts to video]

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT) [on CNN’s State of the Union, 07/07/24]: The clock is ticking. This is gonna be a really important and vital week.

[Cuts back to live]

GUTIERREZ: Vice President Kamala Harris on offense at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, blasting former President Trump.

[Cuts to video]

VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: You have the former president who is running to become president again who has openly talked about his admiration of dictators and his intention to be a dictator on day one.

[Cuts back to live]

GUTIERREZ: Some Democrats now wondering whether the vice president should lead the ticket.

[Cuts to video]

KRISTEN WELKER [on NBC’s Meet the Press, 07/07/24]: Could she win overwhelmingly, Congressman?

SCHIFF [on NBC’s Meet the Press, 07/07/24]: I think she very well could win overwhelmingly.

[Cuts back to live]

GUTIERREZ: President Biden faces several critical tests this week. He’ll be on the world stage meeting with global leaders at the NATO summit here in DC. He’s also scheduled to hold a rare solo press conference on Thursday and then travel to battleground Michigan on Friday. Savannah.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: All right, Gabe, thank you. I want to turn now to our senior Washington correspondent, Hallie Jackson. Hallie, what is the state of play right now? Because you do have some House Democrats saying, “Okay, the President should step aside, let someone else run,” but you also have other Democrats who are circling the wagons and you have the President clearly defiant, saying, “Only the Lord Almighty,” his words —

HALLIE JACKSON: That’s right.

GUTHRIE: — could get him out of the race.

JACKSON: So when you talk about the state of play, Savannah, since that poor debate performance you’ve seen former President Trump take the lead in a series of polls, but the headline is this: it is still an extremely close race today. And, in fact, there’s some new Bloomberg polling out showing, in these critical battleground states while Mr. Trump leads in five of seven of them, almost all inside the margin of error, President Biden is ahead in Wisconsin and Michigan — again, inside the margin of error here.

You talked about what’s happening on Capitol Hill. You’ve got some key meetings with Democrats on Capitol Hill, internal discussions for them this week. You’ve got the President having this very high stakes week at NATO. And for former President Trump, he’s got a big week too. Any minute, he could announce his running mate, presumably before the Republican convention begins next week, Savannah. He’s got rallies in Florida and PA, so —

GUTHRIE: Yeah.

JACKSON: — a really critical week here in this campaign.

GUTHRIE: Isn’t one of the issues here that Democrats don’t really know what plan B would be, whether it would mean that Kamala Harris is the top of the ticket, or whether it would mean that some have floated in some mini-primary or a fight at the convention that could potentially elevate another different Democrat we’re not talking about?

JACKSON: Yeah, and let’s just be real here. An open convention would be kind of bananas, Savannah. I mean that’s something that, like, historians, politicos, pundits talk about because it would be just so out of what is the norm in modern presidential history here and you’re hitting on the phrase that I think you hear from some of those who support President Biden right now, and who have supported him since that debate performance, which is, “Okay, what’s the plan?” For the Democrats who were calling for him to withdraw from the ticket, what is your plan B?

Now you are seeing, as Gabe pointed out, a bit of a coalescing around Vice President Kamala Harris. It is difficult to see how she wouldn’t end up being at the top of the ticket if President Biden were to withdraw. Remember that the apparatus of the party, the money, all of the sort of the infrastructure, the ground game piece of it would go to her. She would inherit it, but the bottom line is this: there is not an indication right now that President Biden is going to withdraw from this race. In fact, it is exactly the opposite. You heard him in that new interview. He is all in right now. As he says he’s in it to win it. And even this morning his campaign is out with a new ad focusing not on his debate performance but on the issue of abortion access, an issue that they think he’s strong in based on where the polling is. So, they’re full steam ahead.

CBS Mornings

7/8/2024

07:08:31 AM EST

Run Time: 3 minutes 5 seconds

[NEWS HEADLINE: GROWING CALLS TO STEP ASIDE: Biden holds rallies as more Democrats call for him to stand down]

GAYLE KING: And now we’re going to turn to politics in a very critical week for President Biden as he tries to fend off calls from a rising number of Democrats to step aside as the party’s presidential nominee. The President was defiant while he was out campaigning in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania yesterday. Nancy Cordes is at the White House. Nancy, good morning to you. He seems to be doubling down saying he is not leaving.

NANCY CORDES: That’s right, Gayle. And yet there was this long conference call yesterday that was held by the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in which several House Democrats said that they want Biden to leave the race. This as, President Biden in several different campaign stops yesterday said that he is not going anywhere, leaving many to believe that this week could be pivotal for him.

[Cuts to video]

CORDES: Facing headwinds within his own party, President Biden went looking for support in Pennsylvania Sunday and found it in the form of the Governor, the Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania’s two senators.

SENATOR JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): There is only one person in the country that’s ever kicked Trump’s [bleep] in an election, and that is your President.

CORDES: And yet even as they spoke, the number of House Democrats pushing Biden to leave both publicly and in a call of top house Democrats was nearing a dozen, as others stopped just short.

CONGRESSMAN ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA) [on NBC’s Meet the Press, 07/07/24]: Either he has to win overwhelmingly, or he has to pass the torch to someone who can. It’s as simple as that.

CORDES: Biden’s team insists voters are still on his side. He’s making plans to travel to Michigan on Friday and Nevada and Texas next week, but the Pennsylvania voters CBS spoke to said they’re still worried.

CAROL STOWELL: We’ve been Joe Biden supporters. He’s a fantastic man. And he’s done wonderful stuff. But it’s time for him to leave.

RICHARD POVACZ: Biden is — seems completely incompetent, seems like he can’t hold a thought in his head and Trump’s a liar.

CORDES: In an interview on Friday, Biden said there’s just one thing that could lead him to step aside

PRES. JOE BIDEN: I mean, if the Lord almighty came down and said “Joe, get out of the race,” I’d get out of the race.

CORDES: Biden will be busy this week hosting NATO leaders at a summit here in Washington, D.C., and holding his first domestic solo press conference in seven months. Congressional Democrats will be watching to see how he does.

SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT) [on CNN’s State of the Union, 07/07/24]: Voters do have questions, and personally I love Joe Biden, I don’t know that the interview on Friday night did enough to answer those questions. And so I think this week is going to be absolutely critical.

[Cuts to Live]

CORDES: Biden served in the senate for decades, and the White House likes to point out that so far there are no senate Democrats calling him to leave the race. But that, too, could change this week. Virginia’s Democratic senator, Mark Warner, had been hoping to hold a meeting to discuss the future of Biden’s re-election bid. He had to change plans when news on the proposed meeting leaked, but he’ll still be discussing it with colleagues informally. Vlad?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: All right Nancy Cordes at the White House. Nancy, thank you very much.

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